The Bathrobe Dialogue — A Slice of Corporate vs. Entrepreneurial Life

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So how was your weekend?


     “So how was your weekend?” the corporate HR (Human Resources) director asked the management trainer, an “independent contractor” to the director’s company.

     “Aah, weekend?”

     “Yeah, you know, as in the period from Friday lunch through Monday morning?”

     “Oh, right.  Good.  It was good.  Sooo . . . today must be Monday, then?”

     “Well, yeah.  Where’ve you been, Teach?  Don’t tell me you’re running management training programs on weekends.”

     “Actually, I do occasionally, but not in this case.  No, I worked from Friday lunchtime through midnight Sunday getting ready for the twenty-hour program I’m doing for you which, by the way, you’re paying me for, for the full twenty hours, which is great.  Reality is, though, that it takes four hours of preparation time for every one hour of classroom time for any good, qualified, profesional management trainer.  And except for a handful of expensive big-name celebrity trainers (mostly former star athletes), nobody actually bills and gets paid for all that unheralded time.  The point is that to make things run smoothly and click along at a rapid and challenging pace, takes major preparation.”

     “Gee, I guess I never thought much about all of what goes into the front end of these programs.  So, how come you don’t do the preparation stuff during the week?”

     “Hey, that’s when I’m running other programs, and making sales calls on other prospective clients.  I’m billing and collecting.  I’m assessing and responding to program participant evaluations.  I’m keeping up with all the latest findings and developments in training formats, program content and facilitation techniques.  And I’m maintaining email and telephone contact with past program participants because most training efforts fail when nothing is done to sustain interest and motivation after the program is completed.  Of course, I also have to run my office, oversee my support staff, and pay the bills.  Then . . .”

     “Whoa! Sorry I asked.  I had no idea!  It always seemed to me that you guys just step out of a closet with your Superman cape and a ready-to-go program in your pocket, do your dog and pony show, then tap-dance off stage and go on to the next engagement whenever you feel like making a few more bucks.  I guess there’s a lot more to it.”

     “There IS a lot more involved than most people imagine, but since I work for myself and love what I do, I don’t mind a six or seven day work week.  And I don’t have to put up with a lot of the nonsense you need to tolerate that literally requires weekend time to recoup.  You have the luxury of weekends to distance yourself from from the stresses of career politics . . .  you know, that interactive stuff that greases the handrails of the corporate ladder?. . . but you really need that time off every week because –day-to-day–you don’t have your self alone to answer to!”

     “A little bitter, are you?”

     “No.  I’m really very grateful to you for allowing me the opportunity to put this program together and work with your people to help them make more of their skills so you have less stress in your corporate career so you can live a happier life . . . and maybe even become a management trainer.  Y’know, I could use a partner.”

     “Hmmmm.  But I’d have to give up weekends?”

     “Aaah, but you could wear your bathrobe to the office!”

     “Hmmmmm.”                                           halalpiar

[With more than 2,000 management training session successes behind him, Hal is ready to help you make the most of your company and organization goals to strengthen leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.  Call him now at 302.933.0116] 

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